40 Million Credit and Debit Cards Hacked at Target: What You Need to Know Right Now

Photo: Veer / The Bump Photo: Veer / The Bump

Did you do a little holiday shopping at Target between November 27th and December 15th? If your answer’s yes, then you need to read this: Target says information from more than 40 million customer credit and debit cards used may have been compromised by a data breach.

In a statement this morning, Target’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Gregg Steinhafel said, “Target’s first priority is preserving the trust of our guests, and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.” Immediately after Target noticed the breach, they contacted the authorities, financial institutions and a third-party forensics firm to investigate the breach.

The story, which first made headlines on KrebsOnSecurity.com, fears the worst for Target customers. With more than 1,797 stores worldwide, there’s no telling just where the breach happened yet. Brian Krebs, founder of the site, said, “The information that’s stored on the magnetic strip — name, card number, expiration date, other info — if bad guys can steal that card… they can actually create a second copy. Advice to customers — be vigilant, pay attention to your statement if something doesn’t look right. Whether or not you feel like you might be impacted by this breach, it’s a really good idea, particularly around this time of year, to pay attention to what’s on your debit and credit card statements.”

Target said that customers will most likely be reimbursed for an fraudulent charges — but the refunds most likely won’t make it back into your back accounts before Christmas.

In the meantime, check your credit and debit card statements for any out-of-whack charges. If you’ve got questions (or think you’ve been hacked), you should contact your bank provider immediately.